Michele Bachmann's Gaze

What Women Really Think
Jan. 25 2011 11:27 PM

Michele Bachmann's Gaze

/blogs/xx_factor/2011/01/25/sotu_response_why_wasnt_michele_bachmann_looking_at_the_camera/jcr:content/body/slate_image

It was almost impossible to concentrate on what Michele Bachmann was saying, exactly, in her Tea Party response to tonight's State of the Union. First, there were the visual aids, that looked at times like what one might bring for a Civics class presentation on the Constitution (complete with confusing charts on unemployment that cleverly only labeled odd-numbered years-so unless you looked closely, it seemed as if unemployment went up during a Democratic presidency, not during the tail end of the Bush era).

Advertisement

Then there was her gaze. If you watched on CNN-the only station to carry the speech-she was looking over your shoulder, not at the camera. The TV camera, anyway: I didn't watch online, but according to my Twitter feed, she was gazing directly at the webcam. Bachmann's eye contact, then, is reserved for the Web faithful-for those bypassing the lamestream media, that is.

Another odd note: According to the New York Time s , at least, the Web site of the Tea Party Express didn't carry Bachmann's speech live, despite the fact that she was ostensibly speaking for them as a subset of Republicans. Which leaves me wondering whether anyone wanted Bachmann to respond nearly as badly as Bachmann did herself.

( Update : The speech is available here , and now also on the Tea Party Express' page . It's also embedded below.)

Noreen Malone is a senior editor at New York magazine.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.